Home literacy practices in Singaporean families: Case studies of Indian families

Year: 2001

Author: Saravanan, Vanithamani, Balakrishnan, S.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Home literacy practices are seen as a 'microsocial system of constructive and co-constructive processes (Leseman de jong (1998), and, Teale (1986) on how literacy is organised in daily living changes according to and are dependent on socio-cultural factors Teale, 1998), and Fitzgerald, Siegel and Cunningham's (1991) study describes parental perceptions of the importance of literacy artefacts and events/ experiences in preschoolers' literacy development. Sripathy's Singapore study (1998) looked at 'cultural scripts' and the need for teachers to be sensitised to pedagogic approaches and V.Saravanan (1999) (bilingual children's language choices in multilingual Singapore).

This study investigates the literacy practices of families in Singapore. Literacy is conceived as a socio-cultural phenomenon as it is developed in the cultural context of the home. As the home is a fertile ground for literacy practices this study provides an understanding on how home and interpersonal interaction primarily among parents and children adds to literacy practices amongst Singaporean families. The study is based on a detailed qualitative study of four Indian families giving the researcher a rich source of observations to analyse literacy practices in the home and to observe parents as models of literacy practitioners and their use of literacy activities as support and transition to primary school.